Shortness of breath with hiatus hernia? - British Lung Foun...

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Shortness of breath with hiatus hernia?


Hi - I've been struggling to get an answer for my chronic shortness of breath for about 6 weeks now. I've had (mistaken) diagnosis of COPD, anxiety, angina and GERD. Now, the docs are making me self inject a blood thinner until I can get a CT scan on Monday as they think I could have a pulmonary embolism. I get zero pain on breathing though and can breathe quite deeply.

I definitely have some gastric issues. That was made clear the other night when I coughed and choked all night after a takeaway. I've made a few adjustments to my diet and I am much more comfortable.

My main symptoms this past 6 weeks are SOB on mild exertion and a constantly rapid heartbeat. Are these the kinds of symptoms a HH could cause? I have no chest pain but I have realised in the last couple of days that I have a feeling like a fist being pressed into my abdomen just below my ribs.

As I said, I am having a CT scan over the next couple of days. Would a hernia show up on that? Is it a likely cause of my symptoms considering it causes me no pain. I had an echocardiagram the other day and she specifically ran the probe up the centre of my abdomen quite hard. Would it have shown up there?

Sorry for the rambling post. The doctors have got my brain frazzled. I've been told I've got so many things in the last couple of weeks that I don't know whether I'm on my proverbial or my elbow!

13 Replies

Hi Lux N, being as you have a scan booked. I think it would be best to wait until then, after all its only two days away. I would have thought that if it was a Hernia you would feel a lump where it was protruding through the wall lining. Seems strange also them asking you to self inject a blood thinner, when there are a number of oral options of medication too !!

Hidden hi I would go for the baverian meal,, out of the two procedures ,,


A ct would show a hiatal hernia. My ct scan results specified that there was no hernia.The reason for pressing on abdomen i believe is that the desending aortas passing threw it think there looking for possible aneurysm.


Aneurysum is similar to having a pipe freeze in winter it will expand and when it cant stretch any more splits open. This would have showed im assuming on echo.

My friend had this she had her operation back in February she also has COPD but her breathing is much better and she has no regrets

Suggestion only LuxN,

Breathlessness can be caused by low iron levels, low iron blood levels = low oxygen.

Google:- shortness of breath (or breathlessness) and low iron.

Like I said LuxN a suggestion only.

The echocardiogram manoeuvre when they press the probe hard into your midriff is to look at your Inferior Vena Cava (IVC). Did she/he also ask you to breath in? They can gauge the size of the IVC.

It is confusing when there are so many things going on. It is notable that a lot of people on this site have a complex mix of conditions. And they all interact with each other.

At least they are onto a problem and trying to diagnose it.

Hang in here, look after yourself

K xxx

Morning luxn

I have a sliding hiatus hernia it's painful no lump it don't affect my breathing just hurts if you push it I have somthing called nutcracker which when I eat I choke on food if it does go down I get pain it was all picked up by having a camera down my ct scan only picked up the emphysema and that shows up looking like lots of holes it's like looking at stars in the night sky I hope this helps good luck when you go for your scan hope everything goes well for you

Hi LuxN, you should have had your scan by now, hope all went well. If you have angina then this would cause breathing problems, but usually chest pains too. Hiatus Hernia usually causes digestion problems, feeling of fullness and nausea, Gerd causes acid reflux, swallowing difficulties, cough ect and is sometimes caused by the steroids taken for COPD over long term. No wonder you are confused, even if you have COPD they sometimes do a test for GERD to rule it out as a cause of a persistent cough. Anxiety also can cause breathing problems as in panic attacks. It is obvious they are testing for all and everything hence why you are confused and last but not least anemia causes lack of oxygen in the blood so could make you breathless too. Your Echocardiogram would detect most heart issues or irregularities, hope this helps you understand the tests, not sure what the scan may reveal but they are used for more detailed results and are part of general tests for lung diseases so no stone is being left unturned in your case. Hope you get a more specific diagnosis from this.

in reply to katieoxo60

Hi - had scan. Doc thought that, judging by my symptoms, I must have massive blood clots. To say I was terrified was an understatement. Once the results had been checked though, it turns out I don't have any embolisms at all! I'm back in hosp tomorrow to have a normal CT to check my lungs for other things. Doc says something is causing pulmonary hypertension and having an affect on the right side of my heart but the tests/scans I've had so far suggest it is not CHD, heart failure or PE.

in reply to LuxN

Hi LuxN, glad to hear there is some good news for you and hopefully they will get to the bottom of it today pulmonary hypertension is not good, but can be treated. But so must the cause be treated. So once again I will wish you good luck with todays tests and maybe a diagnosis confirmation.


I have a Hiatal Hernia and been diagnosed with COPD. I cough after eating too. Yesterday had sharp shooting pains in chest too.

So what was the cause?

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